Saturday, May 25, 2013
General facts about Aruba
Located about 12 degrees north of the equator, approximately 29km (18 miles) off the Paraguana peninsula of Venezuela. The island, one of the Lesser Antilles islands, is about 30 km (19 miles) long and about 8 km (5 miles) wide with an area of 193 sq km (75 sq miles) and a population of some 101,000. (CBS: 2010 Census)
For more information about Aruba geography.
Aruba offers you a very large and varied choice of hotels, both low-rise and high-rise, apartments and guest houses. There are also numerous timeshare (Aruba is a red time location all year round) and real estate opportunities.
For more information about Aruba accommodations.
Should you need banking services when you arrive you'll find a bank at the airport. There are also five banks with several branches at other convenient locations. ATM facilities exist at some of these banks.
Aruba is a great place for young kids and also older ones. There are a number of children's playgrounds and all sorts of activities that will ensure that kids won't want to leave!.
Aruba has a modern telecommunications network. Long distance calls can be placed from any telephone or from SETAR (Aruba's Telecommunications organization) locations around Aruba. Cellular phone rental is also available.
The international dialing code for Aruba is 297. Area codes do not exist in Aruba, all numbers start with 5 except for cellular telephone numbers which start with 9, 7, 6 or 5.
All major credit cards are accepted and there are Credit Card & Traveler's checks representatives (American Express/VISA/MasterCard/Discover) who will help you should you have any problems. ATM machines are also available for cards compatible with the Cirrus system. It might be an idea to check whether your card will work in Aruba by calling 1-800-4-CIRRUS or 1-800-THE-PLUS. You'll find more information in the money matters section.
Aruba's currency is the florin, denoted by the letters 'Afls./Awg.' , divided into 100 cents. The rate of exchange with the US dollar is Afls 1.77 for cash and Afls. 1.79 for checks. Traveler's checks are widely accepted.
Compliments and complaints regarding Aruba's tourism can be voiced by calling the Customer Service Hot line on (297) 5839000, active Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM. An answering machine logs calls outside these days and hours. The individuals and/or establishments concerned will be informed.
There is no need to buy bottled water in Aruba, the island's tap water is pure and refreshing, distilled in the world's second largest saltwater desalination plant. Oil is refined on the island's southwest coast and a by-product of this process is abundant pure drinking water and electricity. The plant is called the WEB, and there are many requests to tour the plant that is located in Balashi (Phone +297 582 4700).
Rarely is there a power failure and the island has decided to adopt the North American voltage standard of 110 A.C. (60 cycles), the name as in the United States and Canada. The TV standard is NTSC so your home video camera will also play back on the hotel's TV sets or large screen projectors.
|Fire department and Ambulance||911|
|Hospital in Oranjestad||+297 527 4000|
|Medical Center in San Nicolas||+297 524 8833|
|Air Ambulance:||Richard Rupert||+297 582 9197|
|Fax||+297 583 2791|
|Cellular||+297 593 2329 / +297 593 0201|
|Police Headquarter||+297 527 2900|
|Dept. for National Security||+297 581 1911|
Dr. Horacio Oduber Hospital is the main hospital and is well-equipped both with 280-bed as regards staff and equipment. Oxygen tanks and hemodialysis services are available. Hotels have doctors and dentists on call and appointments can also be arranged through your hotel. Several other medical clinics also exist on the island.
Aruba has its own postage stamps since 1986. Rates for international post letters - Afls 2.20 or US$ 1.25 for the first 10 grams. Rates for international postcards Afls. 1.30 or US$ 0.75 for the first 10 grams.
There is a 9.5% government tax on rooms and 17% hotel service charge on rooms, both of which will be shown on your hotel bill.
Seasons - High & Low
Aruba's low season falls between April 15th and December 14th and High Season is between December 15th and April 14th. Some hotel & resort accommodation packages differ from these dates by perhaps a week or so.
When included, the service charge on food and beverage is normally around 10 to 15 per cent. At one's own discretion an extra amount can be added for good service.
Most stores open from 9 AM to noon or 1 PM and from 2 PM to 6:30 PM, although some remain open between noon and 2 PM. Shops are open from Monday to Saturday. Hotel stores have varying open hours so check at your hotel for these. Mall store hours are 10 AM until 6 PM. You'll find more information in the shopping section.
Limited facilities for disabled persons are available. Some hotels have rooms that can completely accommodate disabled people while others have more limited facilities with ground floor rooms and wider doors to enable use of wheelchairs. Diving instructors with expertise for disabled persons are also available.
The time in Aruba is Atlantic Standard Time. It is the same as Eastern Daylight Savings time all year round.
What to wear
With Aruba's tropical climate, you will be comfortable in casual summer wear plus some light evening wear for restaurants, nightclubs and casinos (men might need a light jacket for some of these). Bathing suits are not permitted in shopping and business areas.
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